EURO on this day: 23 June
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
On this day: A moment of gravity-defying magic from Karel Poborský put the Czech Republic into the EURO '96 semi-finals.
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Czech Republic 1-0 Portugal
1996 quarter-finals, Birmingham
Poborský's exquisite chip proved the difference as the Czech Republic overcame Portugal to reach the last four.
Group winners Germany, England and France had already gone through by kick-off, leaving it up to Portugal to complete the full set with victory at Villa Park. Their midfield was once again in eye-catching form but for all their assuredness with the ball at their feet, found themselves up against a Czech defence which seldom looked troubled.
The game was ultimately decided by a moment of magic from Poborský, who showed incredible awareness to beat Vítor Baía on 53 minutes. The Czechs had to cling on when Radoslav Látal was dismissed late on but Poborský's was a goal worthy of winning any game.
"Even now, many fans remember that very goal when they hear the name Poborský," the scorer recalled nearly a quarter of a century later. "I chose a technical finish as I was used to doing that my whole life – I'd never played 'strength' football. I was more into using my head to solve situations technically. And the result was amazing, of course."
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Other EURO fixtures
1984 semi-finals: France 3-2 Portugal, aet
1996 quarter-finals: Germany 2-1 Croatia
2004 group stage: Netherlands 3-0 Latvia
2004 group stage: Germany 1-2 Czech Republic
2012 quarter-finals: Spain 2-0 France